Hockey Conditioning: Where to start

Different players will have different limiting factors to their conditioning. Answering these questions may help the player hone in on more specific strategies for their individual needs:

  1. Can the player hold low positions for extended periods of time? (see previous post for target times)
  2. Can the player generate speed? (see previous series for information on #SpeedTrainingforHockey)
  3. Can the player repeat high speed efforts within a shift?
  4. Can the player sustain speed within a shift?
  5. Can the player sustain speed throughout a game?

While it’s possible to address each of these things at the same time, it’s more effective to pick a target and focus on that.

For example, lactic capacity work, which will help improve within-shift sustainability, will compromise gains in speed and power. As a result, it’s better to train these qualities on different days, and preferably in different phases. 

In contrast, speed/power and repeat speed work can be trained on the same days, with aerobic work built into days between the higher intensity training sessions. 

As a general rule, players will benefit from following this hierarchy: Low Position Endurance -> Speed -> Repeat Sprint/Aerobic -> Lactic Capacity 

Feel free to post any other comments/questions you have below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. For comprehensive programs to improve your speed AND repeat sprint ability, check out: Speed Training for Hockey

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